Saturday, July 2, 2011

Gateway Incident 2011

This afternoon somebody on a property at the entrance to Heritage Ranch got the bright idea to mow grass with a tractor during the heat of the day during a July heatwave. Thus started the Gateway Incident at the intersection of Gateway Drive and Nacimiento Lake Drive.

I decided to take a break from my work and go check this fire out in my new car. I captured the following images upon arriving at the scene of the fire and they are shown in the order they were taken. The fire burned about 10 acres before it was extinguished.

The fire when I first arrived at the entrance to Heritage Ranch.

Cal Fire Tanker 75 based at Paso Robles Air Attack Base.

Heritage Ranch Security conducting traffic control as retardant rains down.

The flames got established under the canopy of the oak woodland.

Another retardant drop from Tanker 75

The fire spotted or burned through the retardant and made a run up this hill.

The new head had two very active flanks.

This turned out to be temporarily a rather dramatic turn of events.

There is a home on this hill hidden in all that smoke.

Fire crowning up through an oak tree.

By this point the fire had slopped over the far side of this hill.

Engine 4694 from Monterey-San Benito Unit of Cal Fire (BEU).

Cal Fire Tanker 100 hitting the right flank of the slop-over.

Tanker 100 crossing the "T" of the slop-over.

Fire creeping under the oaks as Cal Fire Engine 3460 arrives on scene.

Man fights fire with a garden hose while wearing flip-flops standing in the black.

San Luis Obispo Co. FD Water Tender 43 (WT-43) arriving on scene.

Copter 406 out of Bear Valley Station located on Hwy. 25 in San Benito Co.

Captured Coper 406 and Air Attack 340 in same image.

Fire skunking around under the oak.

Grass stubble can burn surprisingly actively even after a recent mowing as this received.

Cal Fire Engine 3460 based in San Luis Obispo Unit of Cal Fire (SLU) mobile attacks.

Copter 406 presses the attack as the fire ebbs.

Copter 406 is fitted with a snorkel as opposed to the "bambi bucket" alternative.

Engine 3460 prepares for mopping up operations.

Engine 3460 mobile attacks in the black.

Copter 406 hammers one of the last hot spots.

Cal Fire Gabilan Crew 3 is from Monterey-San Benito Unit (BEU).

Cal Fire Gabilan Crew 3 disembarks from their crew bus.

Gabilan Crew 3 is an inmate crew based in Soledad, CA.

Gabilan Crew 3 moves out.

In this image I got my first ever trifecta of copter, dozer, and engine.

Copter 406 hitting a hot spot with Dozer 3442 on hilltop to the right.

First and only black smoke from this fire which was fortunate.

Shed burning furiously

Gabilan Crew works as shed burns nearby.

My very first helicopter and hand crew photo I've ever pulled off.

Copter 406 heads back for one last dip in Lake Nacimiento.

Burning shed being doused as hand crew continues mop-up.

Extinguishing the shed

All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved).


  1. Thanks for posting. Really adds some detail and depth to a an otherwise 2-paragraph news report in the 'Trib or on CalCoastNews.

    Much Appreciated!

  2. A belated THANK YOU for the kind comment, Dennis!